SAN ANTONIO — WIth so much attention on the coronavirus many may be forgetting that the flu is still going around, and it has killed more people in Bexar County alone than the coronavirus has in the entire state of Texas.
Through March 21st in the U.S. the CDC estimates there have been between 38,000,000 and 54,000,000 cases of the flu this season, resulting in over 20,000,000 medical visits, as many as 730,000 hospitalizations, and as many as 62,000 flu deaths.
Here in Bexar County through the end of February the flu has taken over 400 lives this season, with the majority over the age of 65.
Martha Groomer, the Metro Health Immunization Clinic Supervisor told us, "The reason older people are more vulnerable, because what happens with older people is they have underlying conditions that just does not set them up to be in the best of health."
And just like with coronavirus, social distancing is one of your best weapons of defense as well as washing your hands.
"If you are sick stay home try to stay away from other people," Groomer said. "Try to stay away from other people in your home. That will work for the flu as well as this horrible virus that's out there threatening us."
The symptoms of the flu are similar to that of coronavirus. You get fever and/or chills, a cough, fatigue, aches and pains, a runny or stuffy nose, and a sore throat.
Metro Health says if you have those symptoms you need to get tested. Groomer told us, "They are testing because many many providers understand the importance of ruling out flu versus Covid."
For the latest on the flu in San Antonio, just go to the Metro Health website here.
The latest numbers from Metro Health show just 168 confirmed cases of coronavirus and six deaths so far in Bexar County, but Mayor Ron Nirenberg expects those numbers to rise as testing becomes more readily available.
The White House Coronavirus Task Force painted a grim picture on Sunday and Monday as President Trump, Doctor Anthony Fauci and Dr. Deborah Birx said that between 100,000 and 200,000 Americans may die of coronavirus, even if the response is near perfect.
They said that the models they ran with no social distancing projected between 1.6 and 2.2 million deaths in the U.S. In the face of these dire numbers, President Trump backed away from his goal of re-opening the country by Easter and extended social distancing guidelines until the end of April.